Grivel Mega HMS Twin Gate Review


I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. It looked like it was going to be a total pain in the ass to operate. Two gates? Really? After getting my hands on one, however, I started to change my mind. The demo video (below) showed Stevie Haston deftly operating it with one hand, which I figured was either some marketing trickery, or maybe it wasn’t actually that hard to pick up. After some practice at home and at the crag, it was fairly easy to manipulate, with some clear advantages over the competition.

It’s the perfect size for anchor masterpoints on multipitch climbs, as well as using as a belay ‘biner. In the video Stevie slaps a GriGri on easily, but I found the bar stock to be a little thick and it actually takes quite a bit of futzing to get it on there. (Duane Raleigh has a fix for this in his review.)  It’s also possible to use this as the rope-end ‘biner on a quickdraw, for those situations where the rope coming unclipped in a fall could be catastrophic, like the first or second bolt, or a traversing pitch.

Clipping the rope in one-handed, however, took even more practice, and depending on which hand I was clipping with, if the gate wasn’t faced the proper way, I couldn’t make the clip at all. This will vary based on your own clipping style, but for me, if I am clipping right handed, the gate has to be facing to the right. (Something you’d need to keep in mind when using it in a more stressful environment than your living room.) Once I got the clipping figured out, it was a little easier than clipping a Magnetron one-handed.

And speaking of the Magnetron, it’s impossible to talk about the Twin Gate without comparing it to the two main competitors out there, the Black Diamond Magnetron VaporLock and the Edelrid HMS Strike Slider. (I haven’t used the Mammut Crag HMS Slide Lock that is new this year.) So how does it stack up against these?

For me, it’s the least intuitive of the three, requiring a fair bit of practice to become proficient. Once you’ve got it figured out, however, it’s probably the most secure. I’ve heard of Magnetrons opening up, and the Edelrid Sliders behaving squirrelly as well. When the rope is clipped into the Grivel Twin Gate, it’s not going anywhere. The gate is also the simplest, and the least likely to bind up in cold and icy conditions, or get gummed up with dirt. For use on a quickdraw or sling where you need to clip one handed, the Twin Gate isn’t nearly as easy to use as the Edelrid Sliders.

Three out of four stars. It’s an interesting take on the non-traditional locker idea, though most will need a fair amount of practice to be able to properly manipulate it. It’s strength is in its simplicity, and it’s arguably the most secure of the current offerings out there. If you have concerns about the safety of the others, this one is worth a look.

Retail is $17.95. More info and tech specs can be found here.

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was provided to for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

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